Wednesday, July 6, 1983

Peasants with free milk

I had to sign on at nine. Dad drove me down to the Admiral St. dole office, the sun already glaring at us from a clear sky. Away across Knowlesbeck, the Cluder valley slumbered under a washed out haze.

We pulled up in Admiral Street to find a large queue of people young and old outside the doors. At desk 13 I signed paper work and was told “Thank you.” Money should come next week. We drove back to Farnshaw as Dad had to sign on too, and then up to Bentsworth to a pet shop to buy daphnia for Dad’s amphibians. The broad stone-walled fields towards Bethany basked green and still in the sun. We got back at about ten-thirty.

I spent a lazy afternoon writing a letter to Shelley and just wasting time. I felt like going down to Phases later so I rang Grant—his brother answered; he was out, didn’t know where he’d gone or when he’d be back—so I asked him to tell Grant to give me a ring back but he never did. I couldn’t decide whether to go out or not and eventually decided not to bother.

My musical tastes are almost schizophrenic. I like jazz but also P.I.L, the Fall, The Pop Group, etc. Andrew has brought back all his records and they’re almost exclusively jazz—I couldn’t concentrate exclusively like that. The two types of music appeal to two different sides of my character, although I can’t reconcile the two.

It’s still smotheringly warm (76°F) even at this late hour, the sky a uniform light grey, a hint of hot rain drops in the steamy air, just a breath of warm breeze in the branches. Dad methodically waters his precious garden. Mum watches a programme about India on TV.

Nothing breaks this grip of Northern domestic stagnation.

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